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Obesity is a common condition in pets, and in some cases, it can be quite debilitating. There are many things that can cause your pet to become overweight including a poor diet, overeating, lack of exercise and an under-active thyroid. Sadly, about 45% of dogs and 13% of cats in the U.S. suffer from obesity.

How Obesity Affects Your Pet

To maintain excellent pet health, it is essential for you to keep your dog or cat at an ideal weight. This is because there is a vast array of problems associated with obesity, and some of them can be quite serious. The most common problems associated with obesity include difficulty breathing, orthopedic problems, difficulty when exercising and heat intolerance. Some of the more serious conditions that your overweight pet may experience include intervertebral disk disease, ruptured ligaments, cardiac problems, cancer and hypertension. Some of these medical problems can even be fatal if ignored, especially cardiac problems, hypertension and cancer.

Common Symptoms of Obesity

Typical Symptoms of Obesity in Pets: Thick Layer of Fat Over the Ribs, Abdomens That Pooch Out, Waists That Are as Thick or Thicker Than the Ribcage Area, Difficulty Breathing, Tires Easily, Difficulty With Running, Playing and/or Jumping, Difficulty Navigating Stairs and Difficulty Rising After Sitting or Laying Down. In most cases, you can tell if your dog or cat is obese by simply looking at them. However, sometimes it may not be so simple to see the symptoms. If you are not sure whether or not your pet is overweight, make an appointment with your veterinarian for a complete checkup. Your vet will be able to tell you if your pet needs to lose some weight or not.

Treatments for Obesity

Before your veterinarian places your pet on a special weight-loss diet, tests will be conducted to make sure there is not a thyroid problem involved. If there is an under-active thyroid, this problem will need to be taken care of first. Your pet will then need to be placed on a special weight-reducing diet and light exercise regime. Additionally, if your dog or cat is experiencing any related problems such as heart problems, orthopedic problems, hypertension or intervertebral disc disease, these conditions will need to be treated as well. With that said, your vet will need to give your pet a thorough examination and conduct several tests before placing it on a diet.

Breeds Affected

Most any pet, regardless of their age or breed, can become overweight. However, some are more vulnerable to the condition than others. There are many reasons why pets become obese. The following list includes the conditions that can place your pet at risk of becoming overweight: overeating

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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